We’re all busy people, I think. Whether it is students who are busy studying or adults who are busy working, we all have a lot going on in our lives. And so I think many of us struggle with finding the balance between work and family and friends—and perhaps even managing to have a little good old time fun in the mix.
There are those, however ,who do get it right. At the funeral I did on Monday, the son who gave the eulogy said that his dad matched whatever he gave to his country with wonderful gifts to his family and friends. That’s quite a statement when you consider that the man being spoken of was a four star general and the chief of staff for the entire Air Force—a position I imagine requires quite a bit of time and quite a few sacrifices.
I believe the son was speaking the truth. His children came up with a list of over 100 “gifts” their father had given them. For all of us who are parents or friends, perhaps that is worth pondering right there. What gifts would others say we have given them that have made them better people or helped them live better lives?
For the eulogy itself, the family reduced the list to 8 points-- one for each planet in the solar system (this man was also the director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab), or one for each star on his shoulders. Over the next few days, I’ll reflect on a few of those points. I think they give great insight as to how busy people still give back to the people and communities they care for. I think they also give us some bench marks to thoughtfully consider how we are doing in the roles that are most important to us.